imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Drinking Tea with Hizbullah

by JOHNNY BARBER Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006 at 2:03 PM

n the village of Silaa in southern Lebanon, on the forty-day memorial of the killing of 8 residents by Israeli aerial bombardment, a lunch in commemoration of the dead was provided to the villagers by the Campaign for Civil Resistance. After we completed our visit to the grieving families, we are invited to the muktar's home, to share tea, fruit and conversation. The local representative from Hizbullah joins us. Upon learning that I am from America, he smiles and he entreats me to sit next to him. He asks me what I think and how I feel about the destruction I have seen. The nargillah is brought out and we leisurely smoke and drink tea, enjoying the shaded veranda and an afternoon breeze. We discuss the war, and the role of Hizbullah in civil society. I am told that Hizbullah is not a state within a state, but a state where none exists, for the south of Lebanon has been neglected for decades by the Lebanese government. As for the fighters, he says, who won't fight to protect their families, their homes, and their communities? How, he wonders, are we different from Americans?

Encounter at Silaa

Drinking Tea with Hizbullah

By JOHNNY BARBER

In the village of Silaa in southern Lebanon, on the forty-day memorial of the killing of 8 residents by Israeli aerial bombardment, a lunch in commemoration of the dead was provided to the villagers by the Campaign for Civil Resistance. After we completed our visit to the grieving families, we are invited to the muktar's home, to share tea, fruit and conversation. The local representative from Hizbullah joins us. Upon learning that I am from America, he smiles and he entreats me to sit next to him. He asks me what I think and how I feel about the destruction I have seen. The nargillah is brought out and we leisurely smoke and drink tea, enjoying the shaded veranda and an afternoon breeze. We discuss the war, and the role of Hizbullah in civil society. I am told that Hizbullah is not a state within a state, but a state where none exists, for the south of Lebanon has been neglected for decades by the Lebanese government. As for the fighters, he says, who won't fight to protect their families, their homes, and their communities? How, he wonders, are we different from Americans?

This gentleman, his graciousness, kindness, his intellectual curiosity, and his intention of imparting a more compassionate view of Hizbullah to the American public strike me. His young boy sits in his lap, and he convinces him to eat, and ruffles his hair like I do my own boy's. I recognize him as my brother.

This is the enemy my government has warned me about--the people Dan Gillerman (the Israeli ambassador to the UN) called, "a ruthless, cynical, cruel enemy, one of the most monstrous terror organizations this world has known". I am not naïve and I recognize the loss of life "The party of God" has caused occupation forces in Lebanon, including the US military in the 80's, but the denunciations, the casting of Hizbullah as representatives of the devil himself, evil personified, just did not make sense to me as I sat smoking with Hajj and sharing fruit with his family. He was not interested in destroying freedom or stealing liberty; his was not the ideological struggle of the 21st century; he was not part of a calling (his or anyone else's). He was interested in protecting his family and his community from an aggressor who had attacked and occupied his country. He was interested in my views as an American, whom he did not call enemy, terrorist, or evil. He called me friend and welcomed me to his home. He is a human being, and he encounters me as a fellow human being- the result being a discussion and an opportunity to learn of each other- our common hopes, dreams, and desires. We speak of security, and education for our children, we speak of respect and dignity and self-determination. We respect each others opinions, as well as our differences.

Since my return home, I consider my President, (the "compassionate conservative", the "uniter" and the self-claimed, "decider"), his administration, and our Congress. I think back on the myriad speeches about our new crusade. The speech of Sept 20th 2001 where our President vowed revenge in the name of justice- and our Congress stood and cheered. I consider his rhetoric of fighting them over there instead of here (where their children, wives, and elders can be bombed into oblivion, and we need not even change our shopping habits.). Now the President has claimed "the war on terror" is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century- the calling of our generation, and the newest justification for the deaths of 600,000 Iraqis.

How, I ask you, can an ideological struggle be fought by dropping bombs?

I consider his axis of evil speech, his threats to North Korea and Iran and the denunciation of their leaders. From the time he took office, he has denied negotiations and threatened these countries. Inducing fear in other countries cannot lead to peace.

He has provided Israel the means to attack Lebanon and lay siege of Palestine and has encouraged them every step of the way. He refuses to question the state of Israel about its development and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. He continues to advocate that the United States continue to develop new nuclear weapons, while condemning nations not in his favor for doing the very same thing. When other countries refuse to bow to US pressure, the President announces, "All options, including military options, remain on the table". These policies cannot lead to peace.

The concept of America as an "honest broker" has forever been banished to the rhetorical scrap heap, along with the idea that America does not torture, that America respects human rights and America abides by international law. In countless speeches there has been no nuance, no recognition of any possibilities other than defeating the enemy, "winning". (Is this the ideology he speaks of? The one he is so willing to kill for? What ever happened to decency, human rights, equality, and justice? What about compassion, tending the sick and weary, what about Love? In any of the Presidents speeches, does he ever utter the word love, as in "Love your neighbor"?)

What on earth will we win? What is the price we will pay in order to win? As we pay a higher and higher price in blood and treasure doesn't the possibility of "winning" fall further and further from our grasp?

Haven't we already lost?

In Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and other countries the United States is viewed as sponsors of state terrorism (yes, the very same accusation our President hurls at Iran and Syria). Each speech by our President, each bomb that drops on Gaza, each checkpoint killing in Iraq, each cluster bomb death in Lebanon, each water-boarding incident at Guantanamo, and each beating death at Abu Ghraib confirm this viewpoint. And we have no moral high ground to fall back on. We are a country that lives by the warped idea that violence leads to peace, a country that lives by the sword. These policies will never ensure our security.

We in America have lost our way; we have surrendered our ideals and lost our freedoms. We have been lied to and misguided. Our president has no use for diplomacy, no idea of the middle way, no idea of reconciliation, no idea of truth, forgiveness, or Love. His sole solution is my way or the highway. I'm ready for the highway. Recently the President has said, "Nobody has accused me of having a real sophisticated vocabulary. And maybe their words are more sophisticated than mine." Perhaps someone could explain to him the difference between truth and lies, freedom and oppression, and peace and fear.

Then we could begin anew. We as Americans must regain our humanity. We must work for justice nonviolently. We must work to reduce poverty. We must work to educate the poor and care for the sick. The greatest obstacle to this is the idea that we must preserve "our way of life". The key to ensuring freedom in this country and around the world is surrender, not winning. We must be willing to give up the luxury we take for granted in order to lift up those who live with nothing. We must be willing to give up our indifference and stand up for justice. We must be willing to surrender our ignorance for truth. There is work to be done, let us begin.

Johnny Barber is a member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. He has travelled to Iraq, Israel, Occupied Palestine and Lebanon to bear witness and document the suffering of people who are affected by war. He advocates for reconciliation and nonviolent strategies in the face of violence and oppression. He can be reached at dodger8mo@hotmail.com.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 31 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Fear in Ahmurikka Fear Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006 at 2:03 PM
no comment on Hezbollah bombing the Argentine Jewish community center because innocent until proven guilty Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 8:18 AM
show us your proof gehrig Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 9:03 AM
The burden of proof Perry Mason Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 9:08 AM
The burden of proof Perry Mason Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 9:11 AM
Hey Yidiot TW Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 9:39 AM
Schtarker Yid it means Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 9:54 AM
more blazing nessie hypocrite gehrig Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 10:04 AM
"it was really the Mossad plot you claimed to be." another Zionist lie Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 2:44 PM
the evidence that they did me or Project Mockingbecky Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 3:21 PM
just another false flag operation hex Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 5:09 PM
yep - google is dumb hex Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 6:04 PM
the thinking keeps getting dee-e-e-eeper gehrig Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 6:34 PM
the comment from JA was in 2004 hex Saturday, Oct. 28, 2006 at 6:44 PM
And settler violence Olives and settlers Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at 6:07 PM
And the point is.... Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at 8:35 PM
yy (?) PrionPartyy Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at 8:44 PM
And the point is... PrionPartyy Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at 8:50 PM

Local News

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

3 Essential Videos J19 3:53AM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J18 2:41PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Fbi joins with Facebook to remove this report J18 7:08AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy